Sunday, May 31, 2015


Good morning Sports Fans!

Wow, this week went by pretty fast, but it feels like a long time since last P-Day.  It`s pretty crazy. We had a lot of lessons taught this week and we invited three people to be baptized.  None of them gave us a firm no, but Tsuzuki recommitted to a day in August!  We were teaching one of the member referral investigators that Butters and I started teaching back in Februrary, Rei, about faith, repentance, and baptism with her father (a member) and invited her to be baptized.  I have invited her to baptism two times before (with Butters and Tramacchi) with negative results, but now she is so much more prepared and she said YES!  The problem is that her mother is going to China for the next three months and they don`t want to do the baptism without the mother being there.  So the plan is to do it in September, but since she doesn`t have a firm date we can`t count her as a 約束者 (person with a baptismal date).  Also this week while I was on a companionship exchange with one of my Zone Leaders we invited a lady named Keiko to baptism.  We first met her about a month ago and she is so cool.  She has two kids and I believe she really wants to find a way to make her family happier.  She didn`t decline our invitation, but had lots of questions and then her son kind of interupted the discussion and we couldn`t get back on track to re-invite.  From these stories I can definitely tell you that the Work of Salvation is progressing here in Toyota. 

This week I have been here for 8 months and I can tell you how much change I have seen since I got here.  In both the work and the ward Toyota has changed.  My goal is to make Toyota an area in the mission where people want to compete to go to.

Not a super funny story, but someone might get a chuckle.  All Zone Leaders in the mission receive a sheet with everyone in the mission, their area, companion, and picture.  Well I asked my ZLs if they could send it to me on their iPad and they said no problem.  In the past missionaries would just take a picture with their camera, but now we have iPads so life is easier.  Anyways, this week at our Zone Training Meeting (ZTM) I was in the midst of air-dropping (iPad iOS8 function) the sheet to the other District Leader in the zone and one of the Assistants to the President (only 2 in the mission) saw me sending it and kind of got a little ancy and both APs asked where I got it and told me I would need to delete the sheet because only ZLs are allowed to see it.  Oh no! Elder Hardcastle has seen the super Top Secret transfer sheet that everyone sees anyways! To make things more fun that night after ZTM the Mission Home sent out an email to everyone telling all missionaries that if they aren`t ZLs they need to delete the sheet.  Yep, all because of this guy.  I`ll just be more careful next time.

One last story is I finally met Sister Ichikawa from the Salt Lake City Temple Square Mission.  Dad met her back in December because her family is my favorite family in the ward here.  She just got home on Thursday and her English is really good. 

That`s about it for this week.  I have my first District Training Meeting this week and a companionship exchange to go on.  Should be fun!

Big shout out to Audrey and Brock who finished high school!  They don did bin reel edjumacated at that ther Mounten Crest! 

Have a great week out there ya`ll!  Heck, throw a BBQ.  It is summer time after all.



Pic - My Japanese grandparents.  

Sunday, May 24, 2015


Well folks there goes the first week of the transfer.

As said in the subject line, it`s been a long week.  We did quite a bit but it ended up being quite a blur.  We had almost an appointment a day (which is rare) and those all went decently well.  Let`s talk about some of them.

On Tuesday we had a great second lesson with a lady named Keiko.  She is a single mother (Japanese husbands tend to leave their families) with two kids.  We taught the Restoration and gave her a Book of Mormon and she was committed to start reading Moroni 10:3-5.  She is so awesome to teach and is really fun to talk to.  We also had a great lesson with our Brazilian investigator Fabricio this Thursday about faith and baptism.  We definitely felt the Spirit in the lesson and invited him to be baptized and it got really quiet and I know the Spirit was testifying to him what we were teaching was true, but he said that he didn`t feel like he had an answer from God yet.  He definitely has the faith.  He has started reading the Book of Mormon (O Livro de Mormon in Portuguese :)) and loves it.

We did a lot of member work this week as well.  We got two referrals this week which is incredible because I go a transfer with maybe one. They aren`t investigators yet, but we made good relationships with them.  We got a phone call from a member to give one of the Filipino ladies, who was sick, a blessing because we speak English.  We also visited one of our Filipino members, Quim, with Jim (an American who is in the ward) as a home teaching visit.  Quim is a super cool guy who moved here from Hamamatsu last transfer.  He is a civil engineer who left the Phillipines to learn new earthquake proof technology for a year and a half.  He has been gone from his wife and daughter for a year and three months.  He loves the missionaries and has become a good friend of mine.  I am kind of his translator.  We also had a night of my favorite Japanese food Okonomiyaki at the Mishima`s home.

Our boy Takahashi will be receiving the Aaronic Priesthood this next Sunday and we are super excited for him. 

Hopefully some cool stuff happens this week.  Sorry for the lack of neat stories.  Life has been really normal lately, so nothing too unique.  Sounds like summer break is starting up for everybody.  I hope you all have some fun!!


Pic- Hobbiton!  Not, it`s an ancient burial mound we found

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Should I Stay or Should I Go

Well Sports Fans, here`s your transfer update:

In the words of Jeff from the TV show Survivor, ``The votes are in and the decision is final; those voted out will be asked to leave the tribal council area immediately.  I`ll tally the votes.``  I will be transferred to.......Nowhere!  Yes that`s right ladies and germs I am staying another five weeks here in Toyota.  I am the last one in my group that came to Japan to transfer.  Luckily this transfer is short and it`s only five weeks instead of six (because President Yamashita will finish being mission president).  At transfers I was informed that I am now the District Leader of the Okazaki/Toyota District.  So now I have some more respondsibilities including going on exchanges with the elders in my district, running District Training Meeting everyweek, and being an example to other missionaries.  It should be a great experience.  I am really excited to work with a district again and have the opportunity to lead.

This week was kind of crazy.  I thought I was transferring so I said good bye to a lot of investigators and now it`s going to be awkward to go back and still be around.  But we still had cool experiences.

On Monday we had a district activity in Okazaki and got to go to Okazaki Castle.  It was my first time going to a castle in Japan.  It was fun but the castle is kind of sad.  The origianl was destroyed in the late 1800s after the samurai were banned by the government.  Since the the castle was a symbol of fuedal Japan, it was flattened.  Similar things happened across the country.  Part of the castle was rebuilt in the 1960s and that is what we went to.  It was just sad that is wasn`t the original because from the models they had it was beautiful.

My bike has been an issue this week.  I have been trying to take care of it, but alas this city has beat it up.  My back tire frame has been bent and has been getting progressively worse and worse.  The tire is scraping against the brake and destroying the tire.  I took it in to get it looked at, but they said I`d need to order a new tire, but since I thought I was transferring I didn`t order one.  Then I was biking out in in a city five miles away and my front tire went flat.  I had to buy a repair kit and pump and fix it.  Then after transfer calls my back tire finally died and I took it into the shop and it will be there for a week while the new tire comes in.

The main benefit I guess that came with not transferring is that I think that the ward actually likes me.  It was weird to see members genuinely happy that I am staying.  One member calls me ``The Legend`` because I`ve been here for so long.  It`s been cool to see the changes that have occurred here in the last 71/2 months.  I guess Toyota still needs our help.

Anyways, I hope ya`lls week has been super exciting.  Remember patience is a virtue.  Imagine if you were stuck somewhere for 7 months?  :) I hope you all are staying cool, because I am sweating like a dog here.  Thanks for all your love and support!


Pic 1- Pretty much a samurai
Pic 2- Shot of Okazaki castle

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day!

Good Morning Folks,

Happy Mother`s Day to all of the mums out there.  I love my mom.  she`s tougher than some men I`ve met.  She is about to have two sons on missions thousands of miles away from eachother.  She is going to reap in all the blessings.  I had a great phone call yesterday morning with the family.  Everyone seems to be doing alright at home.  Sometimes I wish I could just get a one hour phone call everyweek, but alas, that is not how real life is. 

A lot of cool stuff happened this week though.  It was Coleman`s Senpai week so he was in charge of all the palnning and appointments for the week.  He did an ok job.  He is not the best of planners in the world, but that`s ok because he did get us some good appointments.  On Cinco de Mayo we got to have a BBQ with our Brazilian investigator Fabricio and his family.  It was really fun and we made a ton of meat!  I haven`t had that much beef in a long time. 

I got to go to Okazaki this week on exchanges with my District Leader Elder Orellana.  I haven`t gotten to leave Toyota and work in another area for over a transfer, so I was really happy to get a break from my city.  I got to meet some people I have met there before and they were really surprised that I was still here.  I mean who isn`t surprised that I am still here?  It was a good time. 

Yesterday was a big deal for Toyota 2.  We had a baptism!  Our investigator Takahashi got baptized and it was an awesome experience.  I remember the words to the ordinance and the Spirit was super strong.  It was a super special experience.  The ward is fellowshipping him really well and I see a bright future for Takahashi in the gospel.

It`s the last week of the transfer and I will find out on Saturday if I finally leave the area or not.  I hope all goes well.

Best of luck this week on all your adventures.  Take Luck!  I appreciate all of the prayers.


Picture: Baptism!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Senpai Week #round2

Good afternoon sports fans,

It is now the middle of Golden Week here in Japan. It started last Wednesday and goes to this Wednesday. They have a bunch of little holidays like Green Day and Kid`s Day. It`s mostly just a time where the busy Japanese people get a week off from work. It`s getting hot here in flippin` 豊田. We actually had a really productive week and a lot happened. So who wants to hear about it?

The week started off last P-Day before a member appointment at the Ichikawa family`s home. The four of us were going to visit a recent convert on the way there, but plans changed when we saw a bunch of young guys playing basketball. In order to decide what to we played a game of ``jan ken po`` (Japanese version of rock, paper, scissors). In the end playing B-ball one and we crashed a 14 year olds B-Day party and played four missionaries vs 9 kids. It was tons of fun, but we showed up kind of sweaty and dirty to our member appointment. The member appointment was super fun. I love the 市川 family.

We had another fanatastic lesson this week with our Brazilian investigator Fabricio. He started reading The Book of Mormon and told us that since he has work off due to it being Golden Week this week he wants to ``catch up`` on reading it. Awesome! He is such a cool guy and we love having the opportunity to teach him.

We had a super sketchy experience this week. We found a new investigator last week through housing and had an appointment on Wednesday. When we showed up to the appointment a different guy answered the door. We were supposed to teach a young father and his wife. The guy who answered the door was not our man. We started asking the guy about what happened to the people inside the apartment. ``Did they move?`` ``Do you know them?`` ``Are you related?`` To all of these questions he answered, ``No.`` We had one more question up our sleeve. By the door was a name plaque of our investigator so we asked him about it. When we did he tried taking the name plaque off! Weird right? Turns out out our investigator had magic powers because he seems to have disappeared into thin air.

We housed that same danshi later that week and found another investigator and had a great first lesson with her this afternoon. It was probably one of the best first lessons I have ever taught. She had lots of questions and her kids were in and out of the lesson and it was fantastic. I love teaching families! We also had another miracle with a small familiy this week on the street. A young father was walking towards us with a little baby in his papoose on his chest and I thought to myself, ``If I want to teach families I need to talk to this young father.`` I was about to say こんにちは but then he stopped and talked to us about coming to church. He said it is close to his house and always wanted to see what we do in there. We invited him to church since we couldn`t get a next appointment. On Sunday after church he CAME! We ended up teaching him about Christ and the beginning of the Plan of Salvation. Where are the miracles coming from? Heaven... Probably...

Last but not least, it looks like we`ll be having a baptism on Sunday. We taugth our investigator Takahashi about tithing this week which was difficult because it was my first time teaching it. So we did an object lesson I learned from Elder Moretti. We bought 10 candy bars and gave them to him and said it was because he was so awesome and was following commitments. He was shocked at the blessings, but then we asked if we could have one back. He said of course because he just got 10 from us. When he gave it back we dumped three more bags of chocolate as ``blessings from heaven`` on him. It was pretty fun. He said tithing would be hard, but he`ll try to keep it. He has his baptismal interview on Friday so hopefully all goes well.

Sorry this is a long e-mail, but a lot of cool stuff went down this past week. I hope that you are all doing great wherever you are in this world. This e-mail is getting sent to the US, Bahrain, New Zealand, and England. I thank all of you.


Pic 1- Everyone flies fish kites for Golden Week and Kids Day. One fish for every member of the family.
Pic 2- Cinco de Mayo in Japan